A state government teacher was among seven people arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir police for allegedly raising pro-Pakistan slogans during an Eid procession in Jammu’s Kishtwar area Saturday morning. All seven have been booked on charges of sedition.
Identifying the teacher as Abdul Gani of Marwah, sources said he was engaged by the state government under the Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) programme.
Sources said people had assembled at Chowghan from across Kishtwar and the outskirts on Saturday morning. After Eid prayers, they took out a procession to Ziarat Sharief at Ahsan Bala.
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Though local Imams asked people not to raise provocative slogans, some youth apparently defied their pleas.
Tension escalated when the procession passed through a Hindu-dominated area, but local police intervened and arrested seven people. Sources said more arrests are likely as the police had prepared a video of the entire procession as a precautionary measure.
In 2013, three people were killed and over 80 injured in clashes between two communities after some people pelted stones on an Eid procession passing through the town. Nearly 80 shops, vehicles and other structures were burnt, forcing the government to impose curfew in most parts of Jammu, suspend the Amarnath yatra and cut internet connections.
A one-man judicial commission, headed by retired high court judge, Justice R C Gandhi, was constituted to probe the matter. Pending enquiry, the then Minister of State for Home, Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo resigned from the Omar Abdullah ministry.
In March this year, the enquiry commission indicted Kitchloo among nearly five dozen people, including senior IAS and IPS officers, for their role in violence. The National Conference who was in opposition at that time, however, dismissed the findings as “tutored” saying that the same commission had earlier exonerated Kitchloo in its preliminary report.